Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Our Little Racket: A Novel Hardcover – June 20, 2017
|New from||Used from|
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
““I read all 512 pages of Angelica Baker’s debut novel greedily, in one dizzying weekend, unable to put it down...The book gets beyond moneymaking hubris to a more basic kind of desire-the fretful, shapeless longing of those who are sidelined to be seen somehow as indispensable.” (The Atlantic)
“Baker skillfully grapples with questions of complicity...the novel is never less than gripping, and even if this is a world seemingly unfamiliar to you, it’s impossible not to be swept up in the hard universal truths uncovered within its pages.” (Nylon Magazine)
“A classic page-turner...As the story unfolds, the author takes us deep into Gold Coast life in 2008, just as the financial collapse was about to wreak havoc on the American economy... Elegant writing and razor-sharp analysis of upper-class suburbia.” (Connecticut Post)
“Our Little Racket is a smart debut novel that examines power, greed, and the price of the American dream.” (PopSugar, “Best Books for Summer 2017”)
“Although the novel is set in the banking crisis of 2008, it feels as current as today’s congressional testimony... Ambitious... The atmosphere in this novel is stretched taut as the characters wait for the other polished loafer to drop.” (Kansas City Star)
“Wry and perceptive.” (The National Book Review)
“Working in the vein of Wharton, Cheever and Yates, but with a voice and vision wholly her own, Angelica Baker has crafted a timely and powerful exploration of greed and hubris...Clear and commanding prose... Baker is wildly talented and this debut is her gorgeous opening note.” (Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, bestselling author of The Nest)
“Our Little Racket is a golden web of a story hanging in the rubble of a house built by deceit and greed. A magnificent debut.” (Ramona Ausubel, author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty and No One is Here Except All of Us)
“Angelica Baker has written a terrific, whip-smart debut. Our Little Racket is a humane and serious window onto the troubling social world of the bankers who wrecked our economy. This is a great first novel.” (Stuart Nadler, author of The Inseparables)
“A wonderfully rich debut from an incisive and elegant writer. Baker’s women are worlds unto themselves, each with her own center of gravity, and it is a total pleasure to be held captive by them.” (Julia Pierpont, author of Among the Ten Thousand Things)
“Our Little Racket is a gratifying peek over the hedgerows of Greenwich, laden with delicious anthropological detail. But like a modern day Henry James, Angelica Baker uses the lives of the one percent to explore themes-of love and loyalty, family and friendship-that matter to all of us.” (Rumaan Alam, author of Rich and Pretty)
“Blending high-stakes economic intrigue with high-class family drama, Our Little Racket is a sweeping and immersive novel. Baker fully inhabits each of her characters, voicing each with depth and breadth...[An] engrossing and illuminating glimpse into Greenwich’s upper crust.” (Booklist)
“A personal, thought-provoking portrait emerges of the American Dream, complete with a web of visible and invisible cracks in the foundation.” (Publishers Weekly)
From the Back Cover
The women of Greenwich, Connecticut, have never thought to question the wealth or the security of their community. But at the onset of a great national recession, they find themselves forced to reckon, for the first time, with the fragility of their sheltered lives. The investment bank Weiss & Partners has shuttered, and in the wake of CEO Bob D’Amico’s downfall, five women in his life scramble to negotiate power on their own terms and ask themselves what—if anything—is worth saving.
In the aftermath of this collapse, Bob’s teenage daughter, Madison, begins to probe her father’s heretofore secret world for information. Four other women close to Madison—her mother, Isabel; her best friend, Amanda; her nanny, Lily; and family friend Mina—begin to question their own shifting roles in their insular, moneyed world.
For the adults, this means learning how to protect their own in a community that has turned against them. For the younger generation, it means heightened rebellion and heartache during the already volatile teenage years. And for Lily, it means deciding where her loyalties lie when it comes to the family in which she is both an essential member and, ultimately, an outsider. All these women have witnessed more than they’ve disclosed, all harbor secret insecurities and fears, and all must ask themselves: where is the line between willful ignorance and unspoken complicity?
With astonishing precision, insight, and grace, Angelica Baker weaves a timeless social novel about the rituals of intimacy and community; of privilege and information; of family and risk; of etiquette and taboo.
Top customer reviews
Bob D’Amico, a self-taught man, raised in Brooklyn, is now the CEO of ‘the investment bank’ on Wall Street, married to old money Isabel, with three children, whom she scarcely pays attention to. It seems their eldest, Madison, is raising herself, but screaming for attention. Their nanny Lily, is the devoted Mary Poppins envied by all of the Stepford Wives and threatened by at the same time. Quote unquote best friend Mina is trying to stick by Isabel, her motive, not clear. Amanda, think Clueless friends situation gone awry, but trying to make things right. When it seems that our Bob is at the center of the financial fiasco and word on the Street is that he might be facing criminal charges, our Isabel and her daughter are soon to be treated as outcasts. What a wicked world it is. Friends whisper, disappear, and change alliances. All because of bank. Or lack thereof.
If the Madoff story held any intrigue, this racket will suit you just fine. It might even rival anything his enemies could have told. Fiction is so much fun.
I was so impressed by the beauty of the writing in this novel, especially given that it is Baker’s debut. The prose is elegant and perceptive, and well-suited to capturing the nuances and intricacies of this wealthy community. She has a sharp eye for small, telling details. The resulting novel is a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse at a community that is privileged, yes, but also surprisingly complicated.
Much of the novel is told from the perspective of Madison, a precocious 14-year-old when the story starts, though we leave her when she’s in her 20s, looking back on her naïve younger self. We also see the world through Lily, the highly educated, initially loyal family helper, and Mina, Madison’s mother Isabel’s devoted friend. Amanda, Madison’s childhood friend and the daughter of an economics professor who wants to expose Wall Street’s corruption, plays a role, as does a journalist who is trying to get the inside scoop from anyone who will talk to him.
But the D’Amico family is at the heart of this story. Brash, ambitious, disgraced father Bob is modeled at least in part on Dick Fuld, the CEO of Lehman Brothers, whose bankruptcy threatened to take the rest of Wall Street down. There are also references to Bernie Madoff throughout, and Bob seems to be an amalgam of them and other aggressive, manipulative men who bend the rules but can still say with incredulity, “Until they put me in the ground…I will wonder why this happened to me.”
When Bob’s bank hits the shoals, Greenwich society closes its ranks, with Bob, Isabel and their family left on the outside. This is in part because neither Bob nor Isabel ever spent much time getting involved in their community, and in part because their fall has financial implications for those around them. One fundraiser to which they are invited --- and decide to come, much to everyone’s feigned consternation --- brings them face to face with their erstwhile friends and colleagues. The explosive confrontation that results shatters any hope they have of returning to the life they used to take for granted.
While author Angelica Baker often gets at some of the insecurities that drive so many of the women in this wealthy enclave, she has little empathy for any of them, including her protagonists. So the impact of the denouement, which takes place close to the end of this 500-page tome, is less disturbing, even anticlimactic.
Though this is an intelligent, keen-eyed tale about a world as it’s imploding, Baker hasn’t presented a balanced enough portrait of her characters to give the reader enough reason to feel like the investment has paid off.
Reviewed by Lorraine W. Shanley.
Juicy characters? Check.
A propulsive plot? Check.
Relevance to today? Check.
This book sounded like it had it all, but I was a little skeptical that a debut author could pull it off. I'm happy to be wrong. She takes her ingredients, adds a dash of whipsmart writing and makes a book that was a pleasure to read.